Intolerance, Plain and Simple

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Montgomery County School Board and Superintendent Jerry D. Weast should be commended for supporting a health curriculum that teaches the facts about sexual orientation and gender identity to students, especially since a vocal minority has unfairly branded them intolerant of those who object to homosexuality because "ex-gays" are not included in the curriculum [letters, July 10].

There is nothing intolerant about omitting "reparative therapy" from any curriculum about sexuality. The notion that one can change his or her sexual orientation has been roundly denounced by every legitimate mental health association -- including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association -- and the programs that claim to "de-gay" people have been called unhealthy and even potentially dangerous for those who enroll. The obsessively anti-gay individuals opposed to the curriculum are on a campaign to ensure that society never sways from its history of shaming gays and lesbians.

They use rhetoric such as "when confused teenagers . . . are accepted into that lifestyle" and they talk as though gays and lesbians are vultures handing out glasses of homosexuality-laced Kool-Aid. Their propagandistic campaign to deny factual information to students will no doubt continue, and as long as they clamor for gays and lesbians to lead lives of struggle, denial, shame and loveless desolation, they will be called out for exactly what they are: intolerant.

DAN FURMANSKY

Executive Director

Equality Maryland

Silver Spring


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